Android Article - Launching Your App - How To Be Successful
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LAUNCHING YOUR ANDROID APP:
How To Be Successful

Updated April 2021


App Stats

There are 3.2 billion smartphone users, and 1.1 billion tablet users. By year end 2021, app downloads will surpass 350 billion.
Currently, there are more than 3 million apps on Google Play, 2 million at iOS Apple store, and more than half a million at Amazon app store.
These app stores combined with alternative app stores put the total number of apps (mostly android and iOS), at over 6 million and counting.



Add the fact that mobile apps are expected to generate over $800 billion in revenue by 2023; you can see why app development has become the focus of 15 + million mobile developers around the world.

The majority of revenue comes not from paid apps; but Free Apps with mobile ads, in-app purchases, and in-app upgrades to premium content and features.

App Submission Process

To get your app in any app store, you must follow their submission guide. Include screenshots and app icons where accepted, and spend considerable time composing your app description and title.

Most app stores with search feature use the title and descriptions to provide relevant search results. This is moreso important at the larger app markets where competition is fierce for all app categories. Having your app title and description optimized with relevant keywords could make tbe difference of getting some app exposure or none at all.

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At Google Playstore, all Apps can be searched by keywords; and are categorized. Additionally; Google Apps can also be found in:

Staff Picks (Featured)
Editor's Choice
Top Paid
Top Free
Top New Free
Top New Paid
Top Grossing
Trending
Best Selling Games

This is a great place to observe how Apps similar to yours are rated, reviewed; and how Developers have presented their Apps: especially for graphics, writeups, updated versions. And, if they have modulized their Apps.

In addition to categorizing your app, many alternative app stores offer additional promotional features.

Some are free like 'Todays New Apps', while others are paid and provide select app exposure by putting your app on the homepage or top of a selected category. Offering paid apps free for a day is also popular at some app stores. Paid advertising is another common offering.

Ratings & Reviews


At Amazon, Google, and many alternative app stores users can give a review and rate your app once they have installed it on their smartphone or tablet.

And, at most stores these app ratings, reviews, and number of downloads are listed with your public app profile.
Most users will consider at least one of these app credentials before deciding if they want to install your app on their device.

Buying App Reviews, Ratings, For App Store Listing

Positive app reviews and ratings can make your app more appealing to users, and without them, especially at app stores like Google, your app may not get the exposure it should.

The lack of Reviews and Ratings and app Downloads for newly published apps has created a business of itself; where developers can purchase app reviews, ratings, and downloads for their mobile app listing at stores like Google, Amazon, and the iOS store.

Most websites providing these services claim that this approach is entirely legal and adheres to App Store submission protocols. Because users are more likely to download apps that have ratings - reviews; your new app now has a better chance of getting and increasing user installs.

The product manager at Google, has stated, "We want ratings and reviews to be authentic and a true reflection of comments from the users. Spammy reviews, such as off-topic comments, solicitation, and profanity, are just some of the categories we filter out. We also prohibit fake or incentivized reviews".

The spokesperson at App Annie stated, "The problem is that determining what constitutes a fake review is easier said than done.
Many of these services employ real users who download and install the apps and then post glowing reviews.
While developers used to buy reviews in big chunks and post suspiciously similar writeups, things have gotten more sophisticated".
Source: Digital Trends article
Read the entire article

Most all websites I researched basically follow the same process for adding the reviews and ratings saying, "they are added over a timeframe by actual reviewers", thus creating a natural transition and authenticity, and thus eluding any suspiciousness on your app account.

Price plans can be less than $10, to several hundred dollars depending on the number of ratings, reviews, and installs purchased. Individual purchasing is available at some websites, with most offering plans.
And at some, you can write your own reviews, (you choose the wording), and also have the review posted at a time you choose.

I have compiled a list of websites offering these services. Buy Reviews Ratings, and Downloads

At Google, the apps that are getting the most downloads are those with a rating of 3 - 4.5

The #1 marketing strategy for your android app should be its REVIEWS - RATING.


Good Reviews Can Improve Search Ranking and Downloads

At Google Play, Reviews and Ratings from your Users is crucial:

Good Reviews can be used for your App's Sales Pitch;
Good Reviews and Ratings will Convince potential users to download your App;
And, especially at Google playstore, every Review given helps your Search Ranking:

It's also imperative that you comment or reply to users reviews at Google or any app store that allows for reviews with feedback.

The Google guide says that a User may only rate - review an app one time; however, they can rewrite that review and rating at anytime. So, if a user leaves a mediocre review and rating of your app; you can reply - resolve their uncertainty about your app and in doing so; you help your app rating. You can also rewrite your reply to their review as often as you like. And, statistics say that when you reply to a negative review; that person is likely to improve their rating of at least 0.7+; of your app.

The Google Play Developer Console provides for many analytics for the ratings and reviews of your App

Graphics

Icon App Android

Images Create the first Impression of your App to Users; so Make Them Compelling.
And, your app icon is important; statistics say that 50% of users download an app based on whether they like the app icon. So, make it visually appealing.

All app stores require a logo or promo icon of your app to display with your app listing, and most allow screenshots to further showcase your app features.
Sizing requirements for these graphics can vary amongst the app stores.
At Google, and Amazon, you must provide a 512x512 pixel version image of your app's icon. This is the app launcher icon.

Screenshots are ideal to showcase the design and layout of your app. These are easy to create using a 'screen capture' app. And, if you have a newer android device you can use your power or volume button to capture screenshots.

Do include at least one screenshot image of your app. Most app stores allow a few to be uploaded. Users usually look at only two screenshots, so include two of your best as 1 and 2.

Do include a Feature Image for your App.
At Google Play, if they feature your App this image is shown across their network - image size 1024x500. Amazon also requires a 1024x500 horizontal image, as well as two icons, and at least 3 screenshots.
Many alternative app stores allow for promo images, and also a promo video.

For your app icon, you can make your own with Graphic creator software, or buy them for a nominal price or free at certain graphic websites.
For icon design, Google guidelines recommend using vivid colors as the background, and short text, if any. Also, contrasting colors is recommended, and adding a border can also make your logo stand out especially if a users' phone or tablet has a similar colored background as your logo color.

Free and Paid Images/Icons can be found at:

Iconfinder.com - Buy a plan with a number of included icons or prepay and purchase icons to your prepaid amount.
Icon sizes include 32x32, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 512x512. Most icons cost $1 to $2. Prepay amounts from $10.

At Code Canyon, individual purchases available, Browse Code Canyon - Paid Images from $1

Write a Great Description

Title - Description - Promo Text

All app stores require your app title and a short description. Some also accept a long description.
The Title is short (usually 30 char) so make the wording strong. Include a keyword in title because:

It Is Searchable.

You may want to use keywords only and omit your app name here; especially if your App Name doesn't include a keyword.

A well written description can lead to more downloads of your app. At Google Play, and most stores that offer a 'Search Apps' feature, the App Description is searchable; so optimize with several keywords - phrases, at the beginning of the description text.
Usually, the first 160 characters are searchable; and the most important for your Apps Ranking; so

choose keywords most relevant to your App.

Keep your writeup informative, simple. Include your Apps' functionalities; its' best features.

Review top downloaded similar Apps at Google, and Amazon; to see how they worded their description, what keywords they included, where they placed them, and, how they arranged their writeup.

The Promo Text is usually 80 characters; word it with keywords and a catchy relevant phrase.

Keyword Targeting - ASO

Optimizing and targeting your app store writeup with keywords is known as 'keyword targeting, and ASO.
The best approach is to research apps similar to yours at Google and find what Keywords they are using in their app description, and how they use them. Did they put relevant keywords in the first sentence, did they bold keywords, did they use one word keywords or long tailed keywords.(like several keywords).

Research several 'top downloaded apps', similar to yours to get ideas to craft your own app writeup.

Don't Spam Your Description With Keywords,
Don't Copy From another Developers' Writeup;
and Don't Ask Users To Give Your App a Five Star Rating
.
Doing any of these Could Get Your App Deleted, or You Banned from publishing.

Buying ASO (app store optimization) is also offered at websites. Many of the online sites that sell reviews, ratings, also offer ASO services. Browse our listing and do a web search for 'ASO Mobile Apps'.'App Store Optimization', 'Keyword Targeting Mobile Apps'.
Buy Reviews Ratings, and Downloads

Build For Smartphones-Tablets?


Smartphones are still used most overall; they out number tablets two to one, and they have a good percent share of retail consumption. Tablets however, are more popular for specific purposes.

The top app categories for tablets are: Gaming, Videos, Music, Reading, Social Media.
If your developing an app for any of these categories, do consider designing your app for both device types.
And, include: 'your app is best viewed on' info (tablet/smartphone or both) in your app writeup and in any promo campaigns.

Link To Your Website

Use your app store listing link to promote your app on social media, your own website or include it in emails or press releases.
At some app stores like Getjar.com you can get this link in your dashboard.

At Google, in addition to your Google App Listing profile page, you can also have a Developer page, where you can add a link to your website; include a logo, and also feature any of your Apps.

Beta Test Your App

Find Your Apps' Flaws Before Your Users Do

At some app stores like Amazon and Google, you can beta test your app to find any performance issues.

Google Play Beta testing for new Apps.

At both stores you simply choose 'Beta Testing', before your app goes 'live to publishing'.

Beta App Testers are those who test new Apps and provide feedback only to you about any issues your App may have.

This can prove very helpful, especially if your App has complex components you have just implemented, or perhaps you want to add support for a new (country) language. Beta Testers from that country would be ideal for tweaking your App.
And, at Google Play, Beta Testers cannot rate or review your App; that way there is no negative comments about your app before it goes live.

Promotional Strategies

Advertise Your App At Social Media

Social Media, the best FREE Marketing Tool there is.

Over 40% of users who downloaded apps said they found out about apps they downloaded at social websites from some form of advertising.
Social media users are expected to reach 3 billion by end of 2021.

Do include Twitter, Facebook - Provide great copy, (text writeup) about your app - include a link(url) to your Google Play App Page and or Developer Page in your Social Profile; or just include your app apk link.

When Posting; in your Link, use text - keywords relevant to your Apps' Topic, Theme.
Mention the Freebie word- include your Apps' best features- functionalities - usefulness. Create an infographic to showcase your App; include ratings, reviews.


For Twitter, post several times a day; Twitter also has: Twitter Paid Mobile App Promotion


At Facebook one or two postings is recommended.

Create Your Own Online App Store

Get exposure for your app by creating and promoting your own app store portal. Some app stores like Aptoide and Appland.com allow you to submit your app and also create an app store where you can add their database of established apps to yours. With this, you then promote the store, your app, and additionally, you can choose to earn money (fee or subscription) from apps within your store.

Get Reviewed

Critique it Tweak It!

Submitting your app to 'Review Websites', not only provides free promotion; it also gets your App critiqued, thus allowing you to tweak it; if need be, before distributing it to your selected app stores.
Read our article Get Your New App Reviewed - Free and Paid App Review Websites


App The World - Include Additional Languages

Localize Your App To Users Around The World

Although you may initially launch your App in English; adding additional languages should be considered.

Users from mega-population countries like: Japan, China(free Apps only) Korea, India, Brazil, and Russia; are now downloading android apps on their smartphones; (and tablets) so updating your App with Language Support for some or all of these countries is recommended.

There are many free online translation services; the popular Google and Bing, offer free common-words translation services. Depending on the wording/phrases used in your App, the free translate-yourself services may be sufficient.

However, as Google has stated: Short worded phrases - sentences are commonplace in Apps; therefore the context may not be propertly translated with the free machine translations. With Google's paid service, a native speaker does the translating; therefore more accuracy in meaning may result.
Like Bing, and Google; many online translation service offer both free and paid Language translations.

When you do translate; remember to include translated versions of your product listing images, App description, and, include translated text for your user support and feedback.

Android Tutorial with Example Code- How To Add Support For World Languages

FREE vs PAID App


You Can Make Money With A Free App

On Google, and Amazon, as well as most market places, you can make your App Paid or Free. And, some app stores only accept Free apps. Before you decide to go with a Paid App you should consider the stats;

Of the over 3 million apps at Google; 90% are free apps.

MOST DOWNLOADED APPS ARE FREE

Freemium is the most popular App Monetization Method:

You can submit your App as a Free App;(aka lite version) and,

you can add Advertising,(like Google's AdMob or another ad network.

you can have in-app purchases; like offering a Pro Version (access to more content, features, functionality), and additionally,

you can have a NO ADS version, for a cost;

You can add all of these to your Free App; or some of them; with Google's In-App Billing for App monetization.

And, do read Google's App Guidelines dollar amount limits per country.

You can use Amazon and Google for mobile ads and in app purchases.
Many of the alternative app store have similar offerings whereby you can monetize your app.
You can use theirs or add your own mobile ad network from the many available.

Appbrain has a comprehensive list with market share stats included.

android Ad Network-(View all ad networks here)

Optimize Your App For Distribution

Before distributing your app to the app store markets, you can add Analytics so you can gather insights on your app users behavior and interactions with your app.
This information is important to the continued success of your app because you can see where users:

are spending the most time in your app,
how, when, and where they spend money in your app,
where users are not going in your app,
how often they use your app,
and, view retention rate of users.

Churn rates are high for app users; so to keep users returning and using your app, Analytics can provide you with the data to improve the app experience, keep users, and make yourself some money.

How To Intepret Data Points - Analytics

If you want to make money from your app, you can monetize it by adding mobile ads as mentioned.

Analytics and Mobile Ads are added to your app using an SDK integration. It is implemented by adding code to your app code.

Read our article
Free Analytics For Your App, & Monetizing Your App




You can learn to develop Android Apps. With the many free online resources available: easy to learn coding environments-(Android Studio for desktop)(AIDE for tablets), developer guides(android developer),and the selection of free learning websites(tutorials); Android App Making, has become more accessible and popular for novice programmers, business websites, personal websites, and casual surfers.

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